Finding ways to help the community is something that has always driven kwELITE Real Estate Broker/Owner Renee Mueller. She will admit that she had sworn off coming back to Columbus upon high school graduation.
“Like everyone else my age, all we talked about was getting out of Columbus,” Mueller said. “So when I left for college, I swore I was never coming back. I wanted the big city atmosphere, I wanted more opportunity. I just didn’t see myself coming back to Columbus.”
A few years later, Mueller eventually found herself wanting to make a name for herself in real estate in her hometown while also leading efforts to help it grow and prosper.
Although real estate is her and kwELITE’s bread and butter, finding ways to grow Columbus is at the core of every transaction and move made – from buying and selling properties, to launching new neighborhoods and new affordable housing options. Another is by using Parkway Plaza, the headquarters at 4471 41st Ave. that houses kw and several other businesses, as a community hub.
Mueller and the team at Parkway Plaza have hosted numerous events there, including outdoor movie nights, an annual trunk-or-treat, Easter egg hunt and more. But this year, Parkway Plaza is taking things to the next level with its first-ever Beer & Bagel Relay.
Mueller was inspired by popular Beer and Bagel runs held across the country, including in Nebraska, and worked with Marketing Director Matt Lindberg to create an event that could offer people of all ages a fun experience while utilizing the nearby trails, promoting local businesses and more.
Teams of two can register to take on the relay. How it works is teams of two will be responsible for running four laps around the trail at nearby Lake Esther (each team member runs two laps taking alternate turns). Teams receive tokens for each lap completed. Then, they turn in their four tokens and speed over to Sunset Park to complete five “Minute To Win It” style challenges that don’t necessarily require athleticism but patience (cookies may be involved!) The first five teams to complete the relay in full will win some goodies.
After the race, everyone will head over to Parkway Plaza, where a post-race celebration will get underway. Big Apple Bagels, a Parkway Plaza tenant and event co-sponsor, will provide every participant a free bagel. Everyone also gets a free beer or beverage (depending on your age).
Doubling down on the effort to give back to the community, Mueller, Lindberg and Marketing Coordinator Megan Cimpl decided the event could also be used to help a different local nonprofit every year. This year, registration fees collected will benefit the Columbus Area United Way’s Imagination Library, a book-gifting program that mails free books to children from birth until they begin school in participating areas. Any child age birth through 4 who resides in the City of Columbus, or whose parent/guardian works in Columbus; works at Cargill in nearby Schuyler or at the Sentinel Buildings in Albion, is eligible for the Columbus Area United Way Imagination Library program. Books are mailed to kids.
“We are excited …” United Way Executive Director Hope Freshour said of the Beer and Bagel Relay. “Imagination Library is a great program to get books into households within our community and also a fun, family engagement to come out and enjoy.”
Along with kwELITE and Big Apple Bagels, SRE Home Inspections, Aksarben Mortgage and Alpha Media are helping sponsor the event.
Scan the QR code above to register your team.
Mueller said she’s happy Parkway Plaza is able to have various community events to remind residents and visitors what makes Columbus special.”
“Columbus is a great place and there is so much opportunity out there. Growing up, you think, ‘it’s boring, there’s nothing to do.’” Mueller said. “But it’s really just the opposite. There is a ton of opportunity here you don’t even realize.”